Sunday, 24 October 2010

Bach in Rome - Alessandrini and the Brandenburgs

In 2005 Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano recorded Bach's Brandenburg Concertos for Naive. The disc was accompanied by a bonus DVD of the recording sessions in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, featuring an extensive interview with Alessandrini, who discusses Bach and his attitude towards Italian music, the Italian approach to Bach, and the relation between life and Baroque art.  Enjoy!

Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos - Part I/IV

Part II/IV


Part IV/IV

(from Alessandrini's booklet notes)
The habit of designating as 'concertos' both these Brandeburgs and, for instance, the 'concerti grossi' of Corelli, or those for violin and strings by Vivaldi, obscures their major characteristic and quality: their instrumentation (...)Just consider, interrupting your listening for a moment, the results of the pyrotechnic mixture of all these elements: the unbelievable variety of instrumental combinations, the incredible energy released by the sonorities and the unstoppable flow of ideas (arguments, phrases, commentaries). Read the roll-call of instruments summoned to appear, and you will see that none is missing. Weigh up the alchemical combinations they entail (verging on the impossible in the second concerto, where such strange bedfellows as a trumpet and a recorder are required to balance their sound). You will have great difficulty in finding anything comparable in other composers. The competition in which Bach's instruments engage is intense. Each instrument must defend its own ideas with the utmost conviction and show great assurance in the tight-knit dialogue with the others. Paradoxically, the perception of a single language is obvious and palpable. And if the variety on offer charms the ear, the intellect delights in finding everywhere the same cohesion, sometimes taken to extremes (as in the almost esoteric sixth concerto).

Six concertos BWV1046-1051
Sinfonia from cantata BWV174
plus an alternate version of the cadenza from BWV1050
35 page booklet by Rinaldo Alessandrini
Recorded at Palazzo Farnese in Rome, Italy.
2 x CD. Total time 99:16

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